Some Conditional (re)Solutions

Ezra Cook

27 Mar, 4-5:30pm, LH 306

Any semantics for modals and conditionals must prove its worth by resolving some standard problem cases. I start with a solution to Frank-Zvolensky conditionals. Consider the following:

(1) If John speeds, he should speed.
(2) If the Dalai Lama is mad, then he should be mad.

These conditionals should not be predicted as theorems of any natural language semantics for conditional constructions. A solution to this problem extends the Kratzerian restrictor analysis with a consistent modal base expansion and contraction operation. Following this, some past-shifted conditional constructions will be considered. Past-shifted conditionals, such as the Morgenbesser conditional:

(3) If you had bet heads, you would have won.

Are shown to be resolvable by connecting the modal base, in a Kratzerian framework, and the Stalnakerian common ground. This connection is shown to generate truth conditional differences exactly where they should be predicted. Along the way, the standard Kratzerian ordering source will be generalized to accommodate an arbitrary number of independent ordering sources, factoring in the possibility of inconsistencies.